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By Andrea Williams

Everybody you know has a blog: your girlfriend who styles your hair every Thursday, your niece who’s only in the tenth grade and even her third period math teacher. But back in 2006, when Patrice Yursik first took to the web with her online journal of sorts, blogging wasn’t exactly tres chic.

The former journalist was encouraged by an internet-savvy friend to share her opinions with the world, and he prodded her to come up with an under-the-radar topic that would attract eager readers. Her short list? Natural hair tips and trends, makeup for black women and plus-sized beauty. She purchased her domain name on August 13; two days later she published her first post.

Now Yursik is more commonly known as Afrobella – the super fly chick with the super fly natural and one of the web’s top beauty blogs, black or otherwise. She flits about the country on one exciting assignment after another – interviewing celebs on the Academy Awards red carpet, working with chemists to perfect her very own MAC Lipglass shade – all the while keeping her 32,000-plus Twitter followers abreast of the latest and greatest in natural beauty and fashion.

Yursik has come a long way from her days as the calendar editor of a Miami newspaper, but she credits that real-life journalistic experience as the training ground for her blog.

“The challenge was that it was a weekly newspaper, and you just had to write as much as you can, and edit as much as you can and turn in perfect copy every week,” she says. “So it was a good preparation for building my own blog. It showed me that I can write a variety of different topics and interview anybody.”

Unfortunately, while the position helped her develop the chops she would need to consistently churn out creative, reader-friendly content for, it also proved to be the catalyst that forced her to commit to her budding brand full-time.

While she was working, Yursik was able to juggle her online duties with her daily 9-5 responsibilities, jetting off to record segments for NPR’s News and Notes Blogger’s Roundtable on her lunch break and posting to her site in the evenings. Everything was smooth sailing until she was offered the opportunity of a lifetime to attend an event in D.C. held in honor of Barak Obama’s Presidential Inauguration.

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